What is out there is in me

Student: It occurred to me that one reason the thinking mind is disowned is there are a lot of things that one would rather not think about. For example, why we have so much and thousands of babies are being born in rubbish heaps every day, and why corporations control governments that have millions of lives in their hands and their only motive is profit, or, you know, whatever it is, as well as of course the more personal matters.

Roshi: These are personal matters. We can take each of those voices, like the voice of the greed that’s behind our society or the arrogance that’s behind it, and look at those same voices within our self. Because whatever the corporation is doing, I’m doing on some smaller, miniscule level. The greed, the arrogance, the ego behind it all is within me. And even though I don’t want to look at it and I don’t want to think about these things, what I suppress will come out in my dreams, will come out in my sittings, will come out in other places. So I personally think that zazen is really allowing everything to come up, to emerge, whether we like it or don’t like it, and look at it all as long as we look at it. If it doesn’t disturb us and it just goes away by itself, absolutely fine. You know, we don’t need to cling to it either, but the two things in the way — at least as I was taught and the way I sit zazen — there are two things I watch for. One is repression, of anything, and the other is attachment to it. So I’ll attach to the good things and I’ll try to repress the bad, the negative things, the negative thoughts. Both are hindrances, both become what we call makyo, devilish obstacles or obstructions in our zazen. So I would say that having that storm come up and inviting and honoring the thinking mind is a great great thing. I mean I commend you, I think it’s great.

Student: What you said about this being personal is very true, and what I felt was that all of these things were really just me multiplied five billion times and that’s exactly why the world is messed up the way it is.

Roshi: That’s exactly it. What is out there is in me. What’s in me is out there. Microcosm, macrocosm. So, you know, the way to work with it, the way to deal with it is to look within at these things that are within me. And we start with baby steps. One step at a time with our self, and then work our way out.

9 thoughts on “What is out there is in me”

  1. whatever I am doing is the price for me to pay the price for it on same level, but what i am doing is reflection of myself. So I have to find the root in myself to change my life an circumstances of life. The peace an love in me and as reflection of my doing will bring peace an love back to me, mor than I have spent, But how can I live in light of peace an love, without being in Light an Spirit of GOD? Bing in HIM, He is in me.But H is not in me, if I exclude Him from my life
    Hans Hoeting

  2. I am(not”I AM”,yet)being very troubled lately by the realization that most animals(youtubes)in the long history of life on earth,microbes to whales,are eaten (usually casually)by predators for some time before they expire;& that this need not be,as it would seem quite logical for us to observe a Law of nature that would cause animals to,eg,pass-out when all hope of escape was lost.
    Thus it seems that all life is suffering,by a default design,but a design,nevertheless,& not simply,unfortunately,”the way of things…”
    so how do we(or should we even)justify our seeming resistance to this suffering of others,that is fine with the universe,by striving to alleviate it?(& as Paul wrote “I speak as a fool” here,of course)
    is it that such suffering drives evolution,in many categories of the sense?why is universal human compassion a goal,if it resists the seeming Universal Goal of suffering?

  3. I’ve become aware of the voice withing that is so loud, it never speaks. It just is. (Big Mind)
    With this awareness, things start to dissolve that have no consequence, are trivial, etc. And everything falls under that category, and I start to recognize its impermanence.
    Yet there are still things that seem to have great consequence. So the work continues, and I attempt to keep my personal and business interactions as free as possible from such entanglements so that my actions do the least possible damage to others. Requires a lot of conscience awareness. And I have much, oh so much to learn and practice.

    My love goes out to all of you. May each of you experience progress on your path.

    Thank you Roshi, for the reminder. We all benefit.

  4. Once again Genpo Roshi cuts to the bone and heart of the matter. I am constantly judging the external world as being so messed up and everyone else is so screwed up. And I know I’m screwed up also but it’s obvious that I have many voices that are still disowned and it’s revealed in my judgmental projections. I also feel insecure and powerless in my life and I judge everyone else to give myself a sense of power and compensate for my inferiority complex.

  5. Once again an amazing insight to the mind that always wants to stay hidden. Thanks to your work many voices and issues can be solved with-in our mind. _()_ Gassho


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